Half Girlfriend (Chetan Bhagat) - Review

Author: Chetan Bhagat
Publisher: Rupa Publication India
Publication Year: 2014
ISBN: 9788129135728
Pages: Paperback, 260 pages

Half Girlfriend is a story of a Bihari boy Madhav who falls in love with a rich Delhi girl Riya. Their friendship begins through the common sport they play i.e. basketball and soon they become more than ‘just-friends’.

Madhav wants them to take their relation on a next level while Riya wants to keep their relation limited to being friends. When Madhav is persistent, Riya agrees for a compromise and becomes his half girlfriend.

Let’s begin with the story. It is a simple story and as usual, Bhagat combines some other issues with the story trying to cook a sub plot within the main story. It was not bad but it was a distraction from the main story and probably should not have stretched that much. But soon, you find the story back on the track and things are fine then.

Half Girlfriend comprises of two lead characters whom you can’t love and can’t hate as well. Frankly, you will start hating Madhav initially because he is always insistent on having physical intimacy with Riya while she always turns her back for it. One thing irritated me here. He is always trying to kiss her that it became repetitive and irritating. Riya on the other hand leaves you clueless for her behavior.

But let me interrupt the haters. Isn’t that what happens in real life? Aren’t men looking for physical intimacy? Don’t so many girls shy away from it? Don’t people have inner dilemmas about relationships? Gosh they were just teens. Stuff like that happens in real life too.

The biggest let down of Half Girlfriend was the clich├ęd twist. Anybody can guess that and the moment that happens it leads to pages that you don't want to read because you know what’s going to happen.

Other than that, there were many good little things in the book. The idea of love and how someone will go beyond possibilities for getting that was what I liked. For most of the part, it seemed interesting to me and readable. I have read so much worse Indian authors who writes just about sex when it comes to teen romance. So, this I tell you is a lot better than those books.Some moments in the book emerged out as heartwarming. Especially the letter that Riya leaves for him at the end of Act 2.

Secondly, Half Girlfriend is purely commercial in nature. The rights for a movie adaptation were sold even before the release of the book. Don’t read it to find classic literature in it. Why would you not pick up Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri or authors like them if you want to read and muse over the literature?

Overall, Half Girlfriend is meant for people who want to pick up a light romance fiction. If you are one of them, you will find it worth one read. Otherwise simply don’t read it.

I can't add my favorite line of the book without adding the spoiler line before it and without it, the line makes no sense. But you will know if you read it.

Survived, yes. Lived, no.

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Write comments
Mary Burris
November 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM delete

Survived, Yes. Lived, No. Ha! love that! I'm not a big reader, so I'll have to take a pass on this one too.

November 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM delete

Yet to read the book, Anmol.
Honest review as usual from you. :)


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